University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Abstract

Belgian (N = 61) and American (N = 134) fuel consumers were interviewed in the summer of 2012 to determine their awareness, use, and perceptions of biodiesel. Consumers who were aware of biodiesel were asked their perceptions. A significantly P < 0.0001) higher percentage of Belgian consumers (78.7%) reported owning or driving a diesel vehicle compared to American consumers (9.0%). Belgian and American consumers moderately agreed biodiesel is a high-quality fuel. For both Belgian and American consumers, there was no significant association between owning a diesel vehicle and being aware of biodiesel or having purchased biodiesel. Although Belgian and American consumers agreed that using non-food crops for biodiesel is justified, Belgians were significantly less supportive than American consumers of using food crops for biodiesel. Both Belgian and American consumers disagreed with the statement “I would never use biodiesel”, and the two sets of consumers moderately disagreed that diesel engines would not run properly on biodiesel. Belgian and American consumers agreed that global warming is increasing; however, American consumers were more positive about the potential of biodiesel to reduce harmful exhaust emissions and global warming. Belgian consumers moderately agreed and American consumers agreed that biodiesel is better to use because it is made from renewable resources. Belgian and American consumers generally show similar perceptions of biodiesel, with the exception that American consumers were more positive toward the environmental and renewable aspects of biodiesel use. Recommendations for further research include gaining a better understanding of the potential positive influences that impact consumers’ perceptions of biodiesel.

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